Delivering a successful business project relies on a number of factors, many of which will be out of your control. Uncertainty is part of every project, so you will need to be flexible and able to react under pressure. No two projects will be the same, given the number of variables involved – for instance, different team members, stakeholders, clients or budgets. However, following these basic rules will ensure you are as prepared as possible to deal with whatever a project throws at you, and deliver it successfully.
Get professional training
Understanding budget control, task delegation, managing stakeholders, team management, and project scope is vital to running a successful project, and the best way to master these skills is to understand the numerous methodologies that are prevalent in the world of project management. The industry standard, both in the UK and internationally, is PRINCE2, which is a process-based approach that, when applied properly, can save you time and effort when overseeing a project. PRINCE2 training in Bristol is available from Simetral, a professional accredited training organisation that operates in the project management sphere.
Make sure you understand what ‘success’ would look like at the end of the project, and have a clear idea of the budget and the timescale you have to achieve it. As Ruth Spellman writes for the Telegraph, “Detailed, team-involved planning is the single most important thing that project managers do.” Try to account for risks or difficulties that might occur during the project as part of your planning – this will make them easier to react to if they do come up.
Whether it is establishing the scope and schedule of the project before it begins, liaising with stakeholders during the project, or managing your team, effective communication is key to running a project successfully. Effective communication is not just about what you give out, but also what you take on board – it is as much about listening as it is about telling. It could be taking on the opinions of your team, or making sure you fully understand the clients’ wishes, keeping open a channel of communication is vital, even if it involves breaking bad news.
Don’t be overconfident
While you have to demonstrate leadership and initiative when running a business project, having the humility to take on board the suggestions of others shouldn’t be forgotten. Overconfidence in your own ideas at the expense of listening to others can lead to resentment in the project team, especially if they feel they are being ignored or underutilised, so make sure you allow people to offer suggestions – even if you ultimately choose not to act on those suggestions.
Understand your team and what they offer
Delegation is a skill. Knowing when and what to delegate and who to assign what responsibilities to is an essential part of project management, so getting to know your team and their skills is vital. It takes hard work and planning, but a well-run team will result in a project that is delivered quicker, better and successfully.